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Best Walks - Helvellyn

The Summit of Helvellyn in the snow

Introduction to the Walk
Helvellyn is the 3rd highest summit in the Lake District, at 950m. This route takes you on circular walk from The Swirls car park over this famous and popular peak. An excellent route and the best walk for those who wish to avoid the scrambles of Striding and Swirral Edge.

There is a pay and display car park located at the start of the route, called Swirls Car Park (marked on the map at the bottom of the page).

The Route

Stage 1
Exit the car park using the path at the far left had corner from where you drove in (it goes over a footbridge and is actually signposted Helvellyn 2 miles. You will quickly go through a gate and get on to the excellent footpath.

Stage 2
After leaving the car park you will immediately begin your ascent. The path will split within the first few minutes of walking, keep to the right-hand path (again this is sign posted Helvellyn 2 miles). The path will continue to climb steadily upwards.

Stage 3
As you continue to ascend you will first be able to see the top of the rocky outcrop of Lower Man. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is Helvellyn itself. You do not need to actually summit this peak, you can by-pass it if you would prefer. Once near the top you will clearly be able to see the summit of Helvellyn providing the weather allows for this! You can then chose weather to summit Lower Man or to continue South East to the summit of Helvellyn.

Stage 4
You will know when you reach the summit of Helvellyn by the obvious large trig point. The view from the top can be spectacular, donít forget to look at both Swirral and Striding Edge (on the opposite side of the mountain to the way you came up), a more exposed and scrambly route for those with a head for heights, which you may wish to try in the future.

Stage 5
Once at the summit continue along the ridge, heading south, towards Nethermost Pike. The path will soon split, with the left-hand path leading upwards on to the summit of Nethermost Pike and the right-hand path descending down to Wythburn forest, take the right-hand path (unless of course you wish to add in the extra summit!)

Stage 6
As you descend downhill the path is obvious, simply keep following it until you reach a large and well maintained vehicle track. When you hit the track turn left.

Stage 7
You will now follow the vehicle track for around 30 Ė 40 minutes all that way back into the Swirl Car park to complete one of the best walks in the lake district.

Map of the Route


Walking can be a dangerous activity, all information provided here has been done so free of charge and we can take no responsibility for the accuracy of that information. Please make sure you do all your own research and understand how to equip yourself and know how to use a map and compass before undertaking any walk.
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